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Open mike 09/11/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 9th, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

48 comments on “Open mike 09/11/2012”

  1. Jenny 1

    “The best is yet to come”

    Barack Hussein Obama Victory Speech Tuesday 11/6/12

    Hardly ever has any president made such a grand eloquent promise, at the start of any inauguration.

    Significant words. That if made lightly will come to haunt this President’s final administration like an albatross around it’s neck.

    But if fullfilled will elevate Obama into the ranks of one of the greats.

    In his victory speech Obama also talked, (09:32 – 10:15), of an America “that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet”.

    This must mean that he has in mind a concrete course of action to remove that threat.

    When someone says, ‘the best is yet to come’, it usually means that they have a plan and a course of action in mind.

    Hopefully we will know what shape that plan will take within the coming ‘First Hundred Days’ of this renewed administration, when newly elected presidents traditionally release their new policy initiatives.

    Let us hope that Obama will release his plan to achieve his promise made to the American people; “That the best is yet to come” within the coming days.

    After all the crunch is rapidly approaching.

    That crunch is the approaching January deadline agreed to by the previous Bush administration to abolish the “deficit trigger”, a promise to undo the more than $500 billion in automatic tax increases for the wealthy that are due to automatically click in to place in January to prevent a deficit in government accounts. ie the money necessary to pay for social programs like environmental protection, healthcare, pensions, veterans benefits, etc. The two deadlines, the approaching deficit and the approaching promise to cancel the automatic tax increases on the rich, are in imminent collision. One or the other has to give.

    If it is the former that has to give way, this will be huge slap in the face for Obama supporters.

    An earlier attempted bipartisan approach by Obama to congress asking them to vote for $1 of every $2.50 in tax cuts instead, was roundly rejected by the Republican dominated congress who demanded the full tax rebate for their backers.

    Due to the intransigence of the Republicans – to break the deadlock, the President may have to use emergency executive powers to over rule them.

    No doubt he will receive a severe right wing backlash for doing so.

    An indication of which way Obama may go was given in an Obama election pamphlet entitled, “A Plan for Jobs & Middle-Class Security.” which promised that a second Obama administration would hire more teachers, promote manufacturing and raise taxes on the wealthy as “The New Economic Patriotism”

    If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers, decided to spend similar amounts on the necessary technologies to address climate change the effects could be immense. Not only would it address the climate it would be a huge stimulus to the real economy of manufacturing and jobs. Effectively killing two birds with one stone.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      If a country that can spend tens of $billions on war, or to bail out Wall Street bankers and financiers,

      well…when Iraq and Afghanistan wars were at top volume, billions were being spent a week…

    • Jenny 1.2

      The fight heats up.

      Will the Democrats cave under the pressure?

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/7924297/Closing-the-gap-before-the-cliff

      Equity traders threaten the Whitehouse:

      What I am afraid of it is going to take a dive, a disruptive dive by equity prices in order to prompt Washington into, into coming up with a solution that is acceptable both politically and economically.

      John Lansky</b of Moodies Capital Markets

      The Republican dominated Congress declares class war:

      In a garbled and rather vague address, a strained looking John Bainer, the Republican House leader, attacked any tax hikes on the rich saying it would be better to "grow the economy". (Though he doesn't say how this should be done).

      That theory, known as trickle-down economics and dating to the era of President Ronald Reagan, holds that cutting taxes will vastly increase the size of the and profit pie, thereby producing more revenue even at lower tax rates.income

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst clarifies John Bainer’s argument.

      And though the Democrats dominate in the Senate, The Republican Senators announce that they will be as obstructive as possible:

      As the Leader of the Senate minority, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell signalled a readiness at continued obstruction if the Democrats and the president don’t capitulate.

      AP reporter Stephen Hurst

      Despite these determined rear guard attacks from the Republicans and the financiers of Wall Street. So far, the Democrats still seem to be holding their ground:

      “There was a message sent to us by the American people based on the campaign. And that is, people making all this money have to contribute a little bit more.

      And all the exit polling, all the polling we’ve done, the vast majority of the American people support that, including rich people.

      Harry Reid Democrat Senate Majority Leader

      In the face of those challenges, Obama had told Americans on Election Day that he had never been more optimistic.

      ‘‘The best is yet to come,’’ he said at his victory rally in Chicago, ticking off his legislative goals of reforming the tax system, working to ease climate change and overhauling the nation’s immigration laws.

      Mitt Romney who led a campaign based on division and winner take all arrogance. In an act of cynical hypocrisy, is now calling on the Democrats to work with the Republicans to cut social spending:

      ‘‘At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering,’’ Romney said, after a campaign filled with it.

      ‘‘Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work.’’

      You just know that Romney, this multi billionaire financier would not be this magnanimous in victory.

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Canterbury still looking like Fiji

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/7926305/Axing-election-abuse-of-human-rights-watchdog

    But until the Central Plains and Hurunui irrigation schemes, and the extra Waitaki water take, are rammed through, don’t expect any change.

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

    • vto 2.1

      .
      David Carter refused to comment.

      Arsehole. He should take his family money and shove it up his arse. Unwelcome.

      • Ianmc 2.2.1

        Yesterday at the Select Committee Environment and Local Body Meeting, the chief man at the Human Rights Mr Rutherford gave a burst that the stripping of democratic Rights was an affront to all that wars ghad been fought to preserve. Nick Smith got very angry and defensive. Wonder why. All NZ should be called to arms to condemn this antidemocratic travesty of ECan.

        • vto 2.2.1.1

          Yes I caught that.

          Nick Smith needs to wake up and open his beady eyes.

          Same with David Carter. I am sure both of them would never in their wildest dreams (……) imagine they have acted in the exact same manner as the third world tin-pot dictators that we all spit on.

          pitoooey

    • millsy 2.3

      Irrigation schemes should be publicly owned IMO, and metered, with revenue/profit going straight into cleaning up our rivers.

      That’s what happens in the USA, and to a lesser extent, Australia.

      We seem to let the private sector run the irrigation schemes, and pocket the profits and the water.

  3. Dr Terry 3

    Jenny – While I go along with most of what you say, I think I ought to caution against Utopian thinking concerning the United States of America (in which I have lived, worked and studied over many years). A President, of course, has nothing like the unlimited power and influence many people think he possesses. We have heard all Obama’s skilled oratory (rhetoric, even hyperbole) before. The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?) On the other hand, America is a generous country that treats foreigners rather well, a country of astounding extremes (for better and for worse).

    In American politics you do not have much choice, for all the overwhelming cost of elections. There is not effective Left, the choice is between a Party leaning well towards the Right and another Party also leaning to the Right, but considerably less so (demonstrating compassion through policies that are not discriminatory). Times might be tough at present, but still materialism and marked patriotism are firmly in place throughout America.

    “The best is yet to come”, proclaims Obama. Does this imply furtherance of the rather self-indulgent “American Dream”? Are these words comparable to another political leader who promised his country “a brighter future”? (Suddenly up to 7.3% unemployment, which thus far is receiving some remarkably mild reactions, a few even hinting that it is not too bad news, and that we are doing better, after all, than some other countries (which makes it alright!) “The best is yet to come” – we will have to wait a bit for Obama to unpack that prediction.

    • marsman 3.1

      Dr Terry. Mitt Romney also promised ‘a brighter future’ but the American public wisely rejected him. Unfortunately our very own Mitt is having a ball destroying our country.

    • Vicky32 3.2

      The country ended up with more murderous drones than ever, posing threats to world peace and harmony also as ever (e.g. by imperialism – in the Pacific?)

      Exactly my worry about Obama… :(

  4. marsman 4

    Yet another truck has crashed.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/7927518/Molasses-tanker-crashes

    That makes three truck crashes in two days. Should there be an investigation into the trucking industry?

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Another driver probably half-asleep in the early hours of the morning.

      This was predicted. Nats blocked any action as usual. Workers are disposable.

      http://www.dogandlemon.com/articles/sleep-death

      http://www.labour.org.nz/portfolios/transport-safety?page=2

    • Bill 4.2

      Remember the TV3 newspiece not so long ago (18 months back?) that scoffed at and ridiculed the idea of maximum driving hours for truckies ? The story focussed on a company dealing in agricultural product that was getting slapped with a wet bus ticket for basically ignoring the regulation. Much hilarity from drivers and an apparent inability on the part of the reporters to grasp the seriousness of the matter.

    • millsy 4.3

      Doesnt help that our railway system is being run down slowly.

      Being wise enough to realise that selling it as a going concern is a no go, they are going to break it up and flog it off bit by bit by bit.

  5. Bill 5

    How the fuck does the British PM ( as headlined in both the guardian and the independent) figure that the current focus on paedophilia (healthy or unhealthy as it might be) in the UK is a ‘gay with-hunt’??? He’s just given the green light for people to view gays as potential paedophiles, no? And meanwhile, the so-called liberal press of the UK has underscored and endorsed the prejudice by giving the tosh uncritical headline prominance. Fucking unbelievable.

    • rosy 5.1

      That, Bill, was exactly what I thought. The media and public were focusing on paedophiles – not sexual preference between consenting adults. Cameron just switched the emphasis to gay men to get himself out of a bind.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.2

      At the risk of being all contrarian, I thought Cameron handled the ambush pretty well. The UK has a history of conflating gay with paedophilia and at least one newspaper a few years ago printed the names and addresses of people innacurately accused of crimes against kids on that basis*. Innocent people were assaulted as a result. I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay, so Cameron will have been answering in that context.
       
      * can’t recall the paper, but I think it was Rebekah Brooks who ran the name and shame campaign. Again, without bothering to search, I recall that a podiatrist was also attacked, because the word sounds like paedophile.

      edit: News of the World et al, circa 2000

      • rosy 5.2.1

        Yes, it was Rebekah Brooks and yes, paedohilia and paediatrician were confused because of the hype.

        Yes, Cameron was ambushed, but he handled it badly imo – he should have just said internet speculation is just speculation. He aimed to deflect rather than quash speculation.

        And yes “I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as kiddy fiddlers are indeed gay” might be true, but just as true (numerically more so) is – I think you’ll find that some of the names being bandied about in the UK as sexually abusing children* are indeed straight (including the one this all started with – Jimmy Savile).

        * kiddy fiddlers although a common term sounds like a game to me.

      • Bill 5.2.2

        Thanks for the vid lnk. Yes. Cameron was robust. But why say (paraphrasing) ‘particularily gay people’? Is that his own prejudice? And why oh why oh why do the broadsheets give prominence (and therefor a degree of legitimacy) to that claim or concern in a way that can only reinforce existing prejudice?

        Wouldn’t it have been healthier to have questioned that bit of Cameron’s response and laid the prejudice bare for the tosh that it is? Further, shouldn’t it be expected from so-called intelligent jouornalistic outputs?

        edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

        • Te Reo Putake 5.2.2.1

          edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.
           
          Not mutually exclusive, Bill!
           
          It’s likely that Cameron knows the names and equally likely, given his response, that some may be gay. I got the impression that Cameron was trying to do the decent thing in that interview, which is a fluffy breakfast show, not, say, Hardtalk. Can you imagine Key defending gays against unwarranted attack? No, me neither. If it was me in his place, I would have been tempted to point out to Philip Schofield that as a former TV children’s entertainer in the 80’s and nineties, there might be people speculating about his tendencies, too. But, then, I’m a bit of a bastard!

          • Bill 5.2.2.1.1

            I didn’t say the two are mutually exclusive. But the list focussed on political allegience/office – or public figures/profiles – not sexual orientation. So he could/should have defended politicians. Or specifically Tory politicians – or whatever. But his mention of gays was in no way defending them (they weren’t being questioned or attacked or focussed on up until that point). And what his pronouncement has done is to place them in the crosshairs. It’s fucked up.

          • Vicky32 5.2.2.1.2

            edit. And it was a list naming Tory mp’s. Not a list naming gays.

            What I have heard on the radio this morning, is, that heads have rolled – that is, the allegation against a Tory MP was false, and so the editor of Newsnight has fallen on his sword.
            Interesting!

        • Uturn 5.2.2.2

          On the upside, you and me know why and how to tell the difference and we aren’t the only people of our type in the world. If our collective perspective prefers an over-reliance on numbers, statistics and generalisation, to turn a specific sample of “some homosexuals abused children” and conflate it to become “most child abusers are homosexuals” then we can use the same method to say:

          “Our current political rhetoric utilises generalisations to create the fear of opposite” and then “Politicians are manipulative and untrustworthy”.

          In our everyday life though, it’s up to us to know our responsibility to face the individual circumstance before us, not the prejudice in our minds. Otherwise we aren’t thinking and living our lives, we’re remembering what we’ve been told and we might as well be robots or cardboard cut-outs. The person next door, who co-incidentally may be gay, should be extended the same respect and privacy we think we deserve if we’re hetro. They might be thinking, “I’ll just keep an eye on that hetro, I know how unbalanced they get round people like me.”. They might just be living their life, like nosey hetros should learn to do.

          If this was the case, newspapers and the proclamations of the manipulative would become like the distant farts of a far off mud pit, while real people, dealing in real realtionships, got on with their lives.

    • muzza 5.3

      Bill can appreciate what you are sayingm but lets not miss the major point here which is something that I have mentioned previously.

      There are very dark forces at work, and those forces use “the establishment”, and are part of “the establishment” , to abuse, and systematically cover up this type of behaviour.

      This is only the latest example that what is said about those who ‘run the world’ , is backed up by the same response at the Catholic Church.

  6. vto 7

    ha ha ha ha ha ha this has to be the funniest attempt at credibility in a while …….

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7927838/Industry-backs-Todd-fracking-report

    • weka 7.1

      “Major players in the oil and gas industry have spoken in support of a report saying the industry will become unprofitable if fracking is banned.”
       
      Well duh. Peak oil is as much about economics as the other. Eventually even with fracking, the industry will become unprofitable. By then we will have ruined the environment even more, just when we need a clean environment the most.

      • PlanetOrphan 7.1.1

        This is from WikiPedia …

        “impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these.[6] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or even banning it”

        Surface contamination = Liquification.

        Anyone care too investigate the connection in Canterbury?

        “A proppant is a material that will keep a induced hydraulic fracture open, during or following a fracturing treatment”

        “Radioactive tracer isotopes are sometimes included in the hydrofracturing fluid”

  7. millsy 8

    Chris Trotter quite rightly suggests that the Fifth Labour Government is as much to blame for Pike River as anyone else

    From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.

    A lot of people on this blog think that Helen Clark’s government was the best ever, while over at Kiwiblog the rednecks entertain us with a delusional view that this country was like Bolshevik Russia in the 1920’s.

    It wasant really all that left wing.

    If you want a real left wing progressive government in New Zealand — look at Norman Kirk and Bill Rowling’s short lived government, even if Roger Douglas was in cabinet — back then he came up with some pretty progressive stuff (though I guess he was on a shorter leash back then).

    • “From 1999 to 2008 Labour didn’t lift a finger to undo National’s H and S reforms – there was a hell of the lot of other things it never really did as well.”

      Most of the true ‘left’ if you can all it that is voting Green, while the rest remain in Labour trying to get the last of the 80s bunch out of the party. :)

    • PlanetOrphan 8.2

      You can argue historical issues for ever millsy.

      The real issue is the “Real Time” governance of this country and it’s spineless implementation.

      The “Left” would not have been spineless, simple fact.
      Because they have “Ground” too stand on and would’ve pressured Pike River real time about it’s workplace standards and procedures.

      Even when the opposition calls the Gnats’ on it they reply with delusional obfuscated PR spin.

      It’s unbelievable too me that anyone over the age of 10 would think John Key a trustworthy person, and this rest of the Gnats’ are even worse, through subservience and gutlessness they are killing New Zealanders’ with impunity and a smile M8!.

      • karol 8.2.1

        Well, Trotter’s post/article also ends on a hopeful note, looking to the future:
         

        Following the Royal Commission Report’s release, Labour leader, David Shearer, was asked if he thought the deregulatory pendulum had swung too far. Mr Shearer responded by saying that “the government needs to be much more hands on than it has been”.

        It is to be hoped that these words reflect a genuine change of heart on Labour’s part, and that the next time they’re in office, Labour politicians will not hesitate to prevent the private sector’s “drive for production” (and profits) from pushing workers’ rights to effective workplace protection off the agenda.

        Although Trotter’s final sentence is one last kick at Labour for its past record.

        • prism 8.2.1.1

          Perhaps Labour being more hands on would happen if we got some real tradesmen, semi-skilled workers, and mature women with family raising as well as paid workforce experience to those standing for Labour representation. Real hands-on people, not just higher educated, computer finger-clicking geniuses and lawyers good with words and understandings of the analogous nuts and bolts the state uses to keep us under control.

          • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1

            prism.

            A non-university qualified hands-on working labourer like Savage would have no hope of being allowed to lead todays Labour Party. That’s a fact.

  8. Jackal 9

    National guilty of ecocide

    What National obviously fail to understand is that the cost of reducing GHG emissions, which is a required expense to reduce the effects of anthropomorphic climate change, might not be cheap… But the cost of failing to act will be even more expensive…

    • weka 9.1

      John Key, if he thinks about it at all, no doubt imagines that his grandchildren will live in ecodome, gated communities in Hawaii. The plebs can live on the scorched earth.

  9. prism 10

    I noticed that Cameron connected paedophiles with gays. As far as I know heterosexuals can be quite as perverted in that direction as any other sexual persuasion. And incest can occur within apparently ‘normal’ families. And mothers can sometimes be compliant and silent about this because doing something destroys the marriage, family and home and apparent wellbeing and respect in the community etc. So the child, usually daughter, is abandoned to their own sad initiation into sex and twisted adulthood. All very dark and destructive to the human soul and a young person’s sense of self-worth.

    Gays going about their gay lives in a way that follows personal integrity deserve better than being conflated with those perversions of love that lead to incest and other sick obssessions.

  10. karol 11

    THAT interview in the Listener is now available online.  What’s so wrong with a politician being smart, and aware of his media image?  Does John Key not manipulate his media appearances even more than Cunliffe?
     
    After all the bluster by right wingers, and English in parliament, the actual Espiner interview doesn’t live up to that hype.  It looks like a lot of framing by Espiner to make Cunliffe look bad. 
     
    The important issues to me are what political policies, and strategies Cunliffe will pursue.  The inteview highlights the main ones.
     

    Cunliffe believes a new epoch is now upon us and that the left will no longer play second fiddle to the right as it has these past three decades. “The left of politics had to really adapt. You got Clinton’s Democrats. You got Blair’s Third Way, which to some extent had to accommodate and triangulate on triumphal markets and the Washington Consensus, and then the great crash of ’08-’09 happened and I reckon – we reckon – that that changes things again,” he says. “That gives not only the necessity but the freedom for us to ask big questions about do those policy settings, pre-crash, fit our people well for the future? And the answer in many cases is no.”

    Rightly or wrongly, Cunliffe believes that the faction against him in caucus, is unhappy with his desire for change.  And he reckons his opponents have learnt from Garner’s leaks.  We shall see.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      OH FFS

      NZ’s reputation turned to mud

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        That’s generally what happens under Nationals governance.

        ”We are on track to achieving our target – indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes, ” he said.

        That would be like the returning to surplus 2014/15 promise achieved by cutting taxes for the rich.

  11. BROADENING THE DEBATE ABOUT ‘POST-SEPARATION EMPLOYMENT’
    (THE ‘REVOLVING DOOR’)

    The latest from Cronywatch… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/11/09/crony-watch-2/

    This ‘revolving door’ is another form of GRAND CORRUPTION which is endemic in New Zealand.

    There should be a ‘quarantine’ period of 18 months / 2 years from the time politicians and senior staff leave the public service to when they take up employment in the private sector in an area where they could be seen to be using their contacts etc…..

    eg: Former Minister of Justice and Commerce – Simon Power – going straight from Parliament to head the Westpac private bank. In Australia – both at Commonwealth and State Government level – that would be illegal.

    The term is ‘post-separation employment’.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/5767710/Simon-Power-to-head-Westpac-Private-Bank

    Simon Power to head Westpac Private Bank
    Last updated 14:20 11/10/2011

    MOVING ON: Justice Minister Simon Power will take over as head of Westpac Private Bank.

    Cabinet minister Simon Power will be taking over as the head of Westpac Private Bank, it was announced today.

    The Rangitikei MP, 41, has been a National MP for 12 years and was tipped as the next party leader until his shock decision to stand down at the November general election.

    Power said he felt he was young enough to have a second career.

    Today, it was announced the commerce and justice minister would head Westpac Private Bank, a subsidiary of Westpac which deals with premium personal customers.
    ……………..
    _______________________________________________________________________________

    NEW SOUTH WALES INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION (ICAC)

    http://www.icac.nsw.gov.au/preventing-corruption/knowing-your-risks/post-separation-employment/4301

    Post-separation employment

    Post-separation employment is the situation where a public official leaves the public sector and obtains employment in the private sector. The principle underlying the management of post-separation employment is the need to ensure that public sector decisions are made only on their merits and not compromised by extraneous considerations or personal interests.
    The Department of Premier and Cabinet Personnel Handbook refers to this issue in Section 8-12:

    Employees should not use their position to obtain opportunities for future employment. They should not allow themselves or their work to be influenced by plans for, or offers of, employment outside the department.

    The type of employment which may be cause for concern is that which bears a close or sensitive relationship with the person’s former position as a public official. Examples might be regulators who go to work in an industry they formerly regulated, an adviser or chief executive who resigns from the public service to work in the private sector in the area of his or her former expertise, or a former government minister who obtains work as a political lobbyist.

    The risk of corruption is higher if the post-separation work involves contact with the former department, colleagues, or staff of the former public official. For the most part former public officials have no restrictions imposed on the type of employment they can obtain after they leave the public sector, and many post-separation employment problems only emerge after the public official has left public sector employment.

    Corrupt conduct related to the post-separation employment of a public official can occur either before or after the official leaves public employment.

    Corruption risks

    A risk assessment of the management of post-separation employment is likely to identify some or all of the following corruption risks:

    A current public official using their position to obtain an advantage for their future employment.

    A former public official attempting to influence former colleagues to make decisions that favour their new employment or private business.

    A former public official establishing their own business in the same field as the public agency and approaching the agency’s clients for business, using confidential information gained from the agency.

    A former public official becoming a lobbyist for a private organisation or specialist group and trying to gain confidential information or favourable treatment from former colleagues.

    A current public official stealing information, intellectual property, or other resources to develop their own business and/or to enhance employment prospects with other agencies and organisations.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • kiwicommie 14.1

      There is corruption in New Zealand politics that is pretty much under the radar, but keep in mind that such corruption is not illegal; the Roger Douglas crowd did a lot of things we would consider corrupt but it was not illegal. At the end of the day governments can act with impunity in New Zealand.

      We do not have a solid constitutional document (even the Treaty of Waitangi could be removed if a government was determined enough) nor acts that cannot be easily overturned with a simple majority vote. Truth be told, a politician can do whatever he/she likes so long as he is on side with the government in power and doesn’t do what is termed ‘illegal’.

      Until New Zealand gets an anti-corruption commission and makes conflicts of interests a punishable offense in law for politicians, we can’t do anything about it beyond exposing such in the media; but as it is not illegal, again it would result in no action.

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    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    1 day ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 day ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 day ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    1 day ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    2 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    2 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    2 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    2 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    3 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    4 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    4 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    5 days ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    6 days ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    6 days ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    6 days ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    1 week ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    1 week ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    1 week ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls on all parties to end coat-tailing
    Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway is encouraging all parties to support his Bill to end the coat-tailing provision when it is debated in Parliament this week.  “New Zealanders have sent MPs a clear message. An opinion poll found more than 70… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government social sector reforms
    I’ve written previously about the major shake-up that is happening in the provision of government and community services. Yesterday, the Minister of Social Development spoke publically about what these reforms are likely to look like within MSD. There are major… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • PM must explain Saudi sheep scandal backflips
    John Key’s explanations of the Saudi sheep scandal continue to be riddled with inconsistencies and irreconcilable backflips, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says. “Either he has been misled by his Minister Murray McCully or the Prime Minister is deliberately obfuscating… ...
    1 week ago

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